Tevlin column restored constituents' dignity
I would like to thank Jon Tevlin for his column about State Rep. Mary Franson ("In Rep. Franson's district, 'animals' are also known as constituents," March 10).
By comparing those who receive food stamps to wild animals, Franson has shown the state how out of touch she is with her district and the economic realities that her constituents face on a daily basis.
At worst, she has carelessly engaged in a type of behavior -- the dehumanization of a group of people -- that has been used throughout history as a precursor to strip away the rights of those groups, and to further marginalize them.
Tevlin has shown the true face of the residents of Todd County, and has countered the negative effects of comments meant to sweep a portion of them under the rug.
SUSAN FLYGARE, MINNEAOPOLIS
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What's best for the team and the state
The editorial supporting electronic pulltabs for stadium financing indicated that this would respect the state's relationship with the casinos under the terms of compacts that have been in place for 20 years ("E-pulltabs best bet to win stadium OK," March 11).
This last statement should have been modified. What it should have said is that this agreement would have continued to support the largest tax rip-off ever committed on Minnesota taxpayers.
While every state in the country taxes either private or Indian gaming operations, thanks to the Perpich administration Indian casinos have an exemption never to pay a dime of taxes on their earnings.
TOM CARLSON, NEW BRIGHTON
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The Vikings have somehow flipped the stadium drive. We have the team sitting back and expecting our Legislature to be working on its private business needs. This is totally wrong. The Vikings should be working to satisfy our questions on the stadium funding rather than our government trying to satisfy the Vikings. No private business should expect our state to dance to its tune.
DEAN REINKE, MINNEAPOLIS
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Prostadium governor shouldn't rip opponents
If Gov. Mark Dayton does not like the established processes and procedures, he should offer legislation to change them rather than making inflammatory remarks, unbecoming of a governor, about them or about the people abiding by them ("Vikings stadium plan to get retooled," March 15).
Comments about opponents doing "hatchet work" on the legislation and saying, "It gets to be, really, the theater of the absurd," in reference to the process and the people involved should never have been uttered.
Just because Dayton is for the stadium does not give him the right to insult opponents who are against it. Each viewpoint, pro and con, is equally valid and carries equal weight.
ANDY PAKALNS, ST. PAUL
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No matter what's said, she's not the victim
While I certainly don't condone a mob-mentality approach to the Amy Senser case, I can't help understanding why some would feel frustrated with her ("Senser wants trial relocated," March 10).
She's accused of hitting a man with her vehicle, then driving off and leaving him to die. Then, shockingly, she's tried to paint herself as a victim and has done only the bare minimum to cooperate with investigators as they try to piece together the events of that tragic night.
I can only imagine the anguish and frustration people feel -- not to mention the family of the real victim, Anousone Phanthavong -- in their search for answers.
The vilification of Senser may be premature, but it wouldn't be much of stretch to argue, quite convincingly, that her actions aren't in keeping with a compassionate person.
JOHN G. MORGAN, BURNSVILLE
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Yes, letter writer, he respects environment
Obviously the letter writer who criticized Don Shelby's new home hasn't visited the site or read anything about what went into building the home (Letter of the Day, March 10).
Sometimes I wonder if living in a cave is the only way to really live "green" and satisfy such critics.
I visited the property, read the brochures, and I talked to the builders and came away impressed with what they tried to do.
MARLENE STUMPF, ANNANDALE, MINN.
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Victims should redirect their settlement money
The settlement of a discrimination lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District for negligence regarding the verbal and physical abuse of six students set a new precedent for what we think the role of administration ought to be in bullying prevention ("School settlement hailed as 'blueprint,'" March 7).
Such a triumph of compassion was heartening, but what was disheartening was the fate of the cash settlement that resulted. The $270,000 settlement was symbolic. However, what the families did with that money also carried a great deal of symbolism.
If the case was truly about establishing more-robust preventative measures, then the money ought to be the initial fuel for this cause. The donation of the settlement to such a cause would confirm that the case was about the well-being of all our schoolchildren rather than only the six involved.
ROBERT PIEH, NORTHFIELD
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Don't let beef product in nation's schools
Unfit for McDonald's but fine for our students ("Schools can just say no to 'pink slime,'" March 16)? In the spring, 7 million pounds of "pink slime" will appear in our schools' lunches unless school districts decide otherwise.
This beef has been treated with ammonium hydroxide and more resembles slime than real meat. The youths of America deserve better than unwanted scraps.
All to save money? We need to get our priorities straight. Administrators need to step up and have a higher standard of what gets fed to our students.
MICHELLE JAMAR, EDEN PRAIRIE